First week

August 9, 2009

Need to get this out, not a cheerful post.

Wow, this is all so strange. We are glad to be home and starting to get to grips with certain parts of this (nappy changing speed has increased daily!)

I am overflowing with happiness but this has not been easy at all. The induction process was long, painful, frustrating and ultimately ended in a labour so far removed from my birth plan I cannot process it. Then, within 7 hours my baby was alone in the SCBU because he had bile stained vomits. Mr C had gone home, and I was bedridden. By far the worst night of my life as I waited in bed for updated from the midwife and the doctors. 48 hours of nil by mouth, and soul destroying hours of waiting to see if he would be transferred to Brighton, knowing that due to the blood loss I was too unwell to go with him. Unable to hold my baby, feed or bond with my baby. Desperately trying to hand express colostrum to give to the baby if they said I could getting 0.2ml at a time.

The nursery ward was hot and I am anemic so could only stay for 10 minutes at a time. Seeing him with drips and tubes and antibiotics.

Being told that we needed to give him more milk than I could produce and practically throwing formula down him so that I could feel he was getting food, and ultimately come off the drip.

Eventually came my chance to learn to breastfeed. The difficulty of the shift changes and nurses and different advice every second. Being poked and prodded, and having a baby that screamed for his dinner but wouldn’t help himself. Being told that the baby had been poorly, that he needed breastmilk to get better. I cannot describe the pressure.

Knowing that my baby was fine, that we just needed to get home and having to beg our way out of hospital.

We were allowed home on Thursday and things are so much better. I have lost the plot loads, I have so many regrets, but he makes it all worthwhile. Mr C goes back to work tomorrow, all paternity leave used up. Hence the twitter account for the little man, @Squigler0 so Dad can know what we have been doing.

I am not breastfeeding, for many reasons, a whole post on it’s own. I am expressing as much milk as I can, giving it by bottle and giving him formula afterwards if he is still hungry. He is newborn but big and has an appetite I cannot live up to, and he gets so frustrated we cannot learn what to do. He is big and strong and fights me all the way, hurting me and frustrating me as he went. The first time we gave him a bottle I saw a full satisfied look ok his face and it was an amazing feeling. He seems happy, he has the required about if wet and dirty nappies and although it means more work for me and is time consuming every drop counts and I know my milk will run out soon but I like to think that I have given him the best start I could without killing myself in the process.

Since coming home I have ended up agreeing to go out or have visitors when I would rather wait. That stops here. I only started bonding with my baby three days ago, and we don’t know each other yet. My plans for no visitors was ruined by circumstance but I know I should be grateful he is well.

Anyway, he is waking and Mr C is feeding (bonus of bottles) so I am going to lie down and hope that by writing this I can let go a little and sleep.

Blogging will be sporadic but Twitter is my lifeline @dancinfairy if you don’t already follow me.


  • Reply New Mummy August 9, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Oh my darling, I completley know where you are coming from, one day I will tell my birth story and subsquent lack of breast feeding one day. Try not to worry about weather you are breast feeding him or not and try to enjoy him. I found that me and BG bonded over snuggles and they are still the best part of my day. If you need to talk DM me I will give you my phone number if you want it. Try and relax when he is alseep, I found I couldn't sleep when BG was sleeping but having something to eat, a drink, read a book, magazine or catch up TV did me the world of good. Things will get better I promise x x x

  • Reply Kat August 9, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Stay strong xxx

  • Reply More4mums August 9, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    You are doing so well – don't worry about the feeding there is too much pressure these days. try and enjoy your first few days alone and don't be afraid to get help if you need it

  • Reply Coding Mamma (Tasha) August 9, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Oh honey, you poor thing. That sounds so familiar. It's hellish to establish breastfeeding after your baby has been in SCBU.

    If you still want to, try phoning La Leche League for help (0845 120 2918), or ask your midwife if there is a local support group, with counsellors who do house calls. I would not have managed if it weren't for my stand-in midwife (who is now my midwife for this baby) and the local support group. We mix fed for a while, but gradually we both got the hang of it and then there was no stopping us (kept going until she was over two – eek!). Will DM you on Twitter with my mobile number, in case you want me to try to help – though I'm not trained, so might be no help.

    All that said, if you're happy to stop breast-feeding/expressing and move over to formula completely, then please do so without feeling any guilt (if you can – we get a huge dose of guilt the second we give birth, I think). You have not had the easiest of starts and you need to do whatever makes you comfortable.

    I think you're right to try to settle in with him and try to concentrate on getting to know each other. If you have relatives or friends coming round, get them to do the cleaning and the cooking and make you tea and tell them you're just going to lie in bed with your boy. If you're having to make them tea or anything like that, ask them to leave and forget about offending people. Do what YOU need to do.

    So sorry Mr C has to go back to work so soon. Paternity leave should be much longer than two weeks.

    Will be thinking of you. Feel free to call/text if you need any advice or just to moan/cry.

  • Reply amy August 9, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Glad you are all at home now, don't feel guilty about the bottles, my pudding was a hungry little chunk and was emptying both my boobs each time i fed her and then still screaming down the house. I gave her a bottle of yummy fomula and she also had that lovely satisfied look on her face. I knew that she just wanted to feel full so i did what was right for her.

    Keep smiling and rest as much as you can, enjoy your lovely baby and take care xxx

  • Reply Anonymous August 9, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I have tears in my eyes, this all sounds so familiar, I really feel for you. The most important thing is to keep talking about how you feel, either on your blog or to your partner. I really hope you start to feel better soon. Now is the time to put your needs and your baby's needs first, don't have visitors if you don't want them. Having visitors can be exhausting and people can be incredibly selfish in their desire to get a peek at your baby, completely forgetting what it is like to have just given birth. You need time to rest and recover and to put things into order in your mind. I was offered the opportunity to talk through my notes with a midwife, just to clarify the order of events and understand what happened. I didn't take it up, but with hindsight think it may have helped. Give yourself some time to come to terms with things not having been as you had imagined they would be. Ultimately you have both come through it but I know it can be very traumatic. I hope things setle down for you soon and congratulations on your wonderful baby boy x

  • Reply cartside August 9, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    That's a horrible start, glad to hear you're home. Do go easy on yourself and don't let your home be invaded by visitors. You can just not answer the phone/door bell. I did it, when I had bad days. Hope you'll feel stronger by the day and lots of good days will happen to you very soon.

  • Reply Café Bébé August 9, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Bless you Mummy…you're doing so well. I feel your pain and remember mine which was similar minus the poorly baby. Can't believe how well you've coped. Keep it up…it does get easier. Much love to you all…
    Karin at Café Bébé

  • Reply miss leslieanne August 9, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    ***big hugs***
    I really feel for you – the whole bumpy start & nowhere near birth plan experience, is all too familiar 🙁
    I still struggle with my memories if I think about it too much, but compared to the weeks of nightmares & tears early on, I've come a LONG way, so honestly, it does get easier.
    Don't ever let yourself feel guilty about anything – you've just made a beautiful boy, who's now home & happy & healthy – you did good!!

    If you ever fancy a chat, or just need a listener for venting, email me:, or DM me on twitter & i'll send you my number if you like.

    Try to stay positive (easier said than done, I know!!), and just enjoy every second of your little man – time flies so quickly, and it's too precious to spend beating yourself up!

    Much love to you all xx

  • Reply Who's the Mummy August 10, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Congratulations on getting home and coping so brilliantly with everything the little fella is throwing at you!

    I think lots of us have birth experiences that are far removed from what we hope for or expect – mine was a 4 day failed induction ending in general anaesthetic and c-section. Then 3 months of daily GP visits with various complications. I was on lots of medication, which made poor Flea really miserable.

    If it helps, my experience is that you have to mourn the loss of that experience you were expecting. LEt yourself feel what you feel, and don't feel bad about it! They're your feelings (i know that might sound hokey but it's what my Mum told me when Flea was born and I was miserable, and it really helped!)

    Also, remember that the memory of the difficult days will recede – not because you forget but because it just becomes the journey Piran made into the world and into your family, and as he grows it becomes a smaller and smaller part of who he is and what he brings to your lives.

    Er, so I don't know if that's at all helpful but do remember we're all here – and lots of us have been there!


  • Reply zooarchaeologist August 10, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Just say to yourself, all will be well. Relax and stay strong, whether you BF or give a bottle doesnt matter. What matters is that you are all there for each other. xx

  • Reply Laura - Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? August 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Take it easy and don't do anything you don't want to re visitors etc … I only learnt this after my 2nd. This time is for bonding as a family.

    Don't regret anything and don't beat yourself up about it. Nothing ever goes to plan where having a baby is concerned.

    .. and Hey Congratulations he's beautiful!

  • Reply ella August 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I'm sorry you both had such a rough start. It does get easier and it sounds like you are doing everything right so far!

  • Reply Mrs OMG Pregnant August 10, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Judging by the gorgeous pics of the contented little man, you're doing great.

    Stay strong. Im learning so much from you xx

  • Reply Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy August 10, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    What a start. Poor little guy, and poor you guys as well. It takes a while, you will get the hang of being parents. Don't beat yourself up on the breast feeding front, you'll work out what is best for you and your gorgeous little boy. Noone else has a clue. xx

  • Reply whistlejacket August 10, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Sorry to hear you've had a tough start. It does get better I promise you! I'm impressed that you're finding the time to blog. Your little chap looks gorgeous, hopefully things will settle down for you soon.

  • Reply Jo Beaufoix August 10, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    I too had a birth story that led to lack of breast feeding in the end. You have done the right thing in making sure your little man is fed and that you can recover too. He needs you strong and well. Take care and congratulations. Sounds to me like you're doing a great job and you're definitely right on doing what you need instead of letting others take over. It's good they helped, but now you need some time with your little boy. You'll be fine. x

  • Reply Victoria August 11, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    You've had a tough start, but it sounds like you are doing brilliantly. We all find it really hard to cope at first, whether we have a 'good' birth or not, so don't feel like you are the only one who has found it difficult. I don't know anyone who hasn't felt completely overwhelmed by their first baby. You are doing a great job, following your instincts and doing what is right for YOUR family. Keep up the good work and enjoy him as much as you can. Lot of love x

  • Reply Insomniac Mummy August 11, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Congratulations! Her is beautiful.

    I have an 11 week old little lady (and a 2 year old). Beleive me, the first few weeks when you're all getting to know each other are the hardest weeks, but worth every second.

    We're formula feeding too, lots of issues that after a month of getting help from La Leche League & other BFing counsellors couldn't solve. Like you the first time my LIttle E took a feed and was satisfied I was more than relieved!

    Keep talking about/writing out your frustrations and rest at every available opportunity.

    Take care

  • Reply Iota August 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    You're doing FINE. You're doing really really well in the circs. Don't have regrets. Just enjoy the boy as much as you can.

  • Reply gaelikaa August 12, 2009 at 11:34 am

    You're doing great. It'll be fine so don't worry….

  • Reply Potty Mummy August 12, 2009 at 11:56 am

    This too shall pass, really, I promise it will. It's awful when things don't live up to your expectations or plans, but as you say the most important thing is that he is well and healthy. I do know how you feel, having been through the whole intensive care with a newborn experience myself, and not ever really getting breastfeeding off the ground. Just focus on the positives – and stick to your guns about no visitors. No reason to add to the pressure by having to cater to friends and family around as well; if they love you, they'll understand!

  • Reply SandyCalico August 12, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Oh love, I'm so sorry I got here late. I hope everything is improving by now.
    Apart from the reason for Piran going into the SCBU, you could be telling my story. I've got tears streaming down my face.
    You have done so well. You and Mr C are making the best decisions for you and Piran. Don't be hard on yourself.
    I know others have offered, but if you want to talk email me:
    We're all here for you.
    Take care, Sx

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